It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. - Samuel Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 99, 27 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



FIVE MORE LITHUANIAN CUSTOMS POSTS BURNED. Radio Independent
Lithuania reported May 25 that about 20 OMON troops from Latvia
attacked and burned down five Lithuanian customs posts on the
Latvian and Belorussian borders the previous night. The posts
were at Kalviai in the Joniskis Raion, Salociai in the Pasvalys
Raion, and Lavoriskes, Medininkai, and Sumskas in the Vilnius
Raion. The same OMON troops carried out all the attacks, beating
and robbing workers at the posts. Lithuanian parliament deputy
Rasa Rastauskiene was visiting the Salociai post, which had been
burned down the previous night during the attack, and her car
was fired upon as she was leaving. All the customs posts have
been reestablished. (Saulius Girnius)

TWO MORE BORDER POSTS ATTACKED IN LATVIA? On May 24 TASS reported
that earlier that day there was one more attack by OMON forces
on a customs checkpoint in Latvia at the Latvian-Lithuanian border
near Eleja. Unconfirmed reports to the RFE/RL Latvian service
indicate that there was another attack on May 24 near Aluksne.
Leningrad TV personality Aleksandr Nevzorov reportedly filmed
the incident near Aluksne. (Dzintra Bungs)

BALTIC LEADERS PROTEST BORDER POST ATTACKS. Following the recent
OMON attacks on Baltic border posts Supreme Council chairmen--Arnold
Ruutel of Estonia, Anatolijs Gorbunovs of Latvia, and Vytautas
Landsbergis of Lithuania--appealed on May 25 to the international
community "to resolutely protest the new acts of coercion perpetrated
by the Soviet Union." They recalled the Soviet crackdowns in
Vilnius and Riga in January and noted that these recent attacks
are "a large-scale coordinated operation against all the Baltic
States at one time." They said that "as long as attacks on people
and facilities go on, it is impossible to take seriously assurances
about the continuation of reform and the development of democracy
in the Soviet Union," reported Radio Vilnius on May 26. (Dzintra
Bungs)

ESTONIA PROTESTS BORDER INCIDENTS. The Estonian Foreign Ministry
on May 24 issued a formal protest over last week's harrassment
and beatings of Estonia's economic border guards. The statement,
sent to RFE/RL, decried "provocational demonstrations of force"
and called on the West "to intercede on our behalf" in order
"to halt interference by the Soviet military in our internal
affairs and to prevent the repetition of bloodshed in the Baltic
states." (Riina Kionka)

SOVIET RESPONSE TO LITHUANIAN PROTESTS. The Soviet authorities
have responded to the many Lithuanian protests by asserting that
they did not order the attacks. Radio Moscow on May 25 quoted
MVD Minister Boriss Pugo as saying that he had no evidence that
the MVD was involved in the attacks and that the Lithuanian and
Latvian protests were "provocations" trying to aggravate the
situation. Lithuanian Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila telephoned
Pugo on May 25 only to be told that the border posts were illegal.
Pugo, however, has sent a team to investigate the attacks. On
May 24 RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin talked to
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev about the raids, and Gorbachev
told him that he did not know what was happening, but would instruct
Pugo to find out, Western agencies reported May 25. (Saulius
Girnius)

VILNIUS POLICE DESERT TO OMON. On the night of May 23-24 eleven
members of the Vilnius police, two of them officers, raided the
Vilnius police ammunition warehouse and took away 40 automatic
rifles, 11 pistols, 11,000 rounds of ammunition, and three jeeps,
Radio Independent Lithuania reported on May 25. The stolen equipment
was given to the Vilnius OMON. Telegrams demanding the return
of the weapons and the cessation of OMON attacks on Lithuanian
customs posts were sent on May 25 to USSR Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov and First Deputy Prime Minister Vitalii Doguzhiev by Vagnorius
and to the USSR Foreign Affairs Ministry by Lithuanian Foreign
Affairs Minister Algirdas Saudargas. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN-BELORUSSIAN PROTOCOL ON TWO DEATHS. The Lithuanian
parliament bureau of information reported on May 25 that Lithuanian
Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila and a representative of
Belorussia has signed a joint protocol on May 24 dealing with
the deaths of two persons on their borders on May 18 and 19.
The protocol declared that the incidents were not "political
conflicts" but "a tragedy resulting in two deaths." The procurators
of the two republics recommended that the circumstances of the
deaths should be investigated "thoroughly, carefully, and objectively."
(Saulius Girnius)

NEVZOROV SHOWS FILMED ATTACKS ON BALTIC BORDER POSTS. Western
news agencies reported on May 25 and 26 that on the evening of
May 24 Leningrad TV reporter Aleksandr Nevzorov showed footage
of OMON forces roughing up Baltic border guards and setting fire
to customs posts in Latvia and Lithuania. Nevzorov said that
"soon all these checkpoints will be gone," and suggested that
the Baltic States should give up their efforts to maintain the
customs checkpoints at their borders. Since January Nevzorov
has made several TV programs lauding the exploits of the OMON
and denigrating Baltic efforts to regain independence. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LITHUANIAN-SOVIET MEETING IN MOSCOW. On May 24 Lithuanian Prime
Minister Gediminas Vagnorius and Minister without Portfolio Aleksandras
Abisala met in Moscow with Doguzhiev and Pugo. The meeting discussed
the attacks on Lithuanian border posts and Pugo declared that
the central authorities had not authorized the attacks that were
taken "by local initiative." It was also decided that working
groups on Lithuanian independence should meet next week and that
an official meeting of the negotiating delegations should take
place in the first half of June, the Lithuanian parliament bureau
of information reported on May 25. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIAN CITIZENSHIP DISCUSSED. Ruta Saca-Marjasa, a Jewish activist
and Latvian Supreme Council deputy, told Radio Riga on May 15
that though the deputies of the Ravnopravie faction oppose Latvia's
independence, they are pushing for the adoption of a citizenship
law. This paradoxical stand, she explained, stems from the anti-independence
forces' wish to destabilize the situation in Latvia and undermine
the authority of the government and legislature by encouraging
public controversy. She said that debate of a citizenship law,
however it is formulated, would at this time serve to divide
rather than unite Latvia's multi-national population, since the
pro-independence and anti-independence forces hold opposing views
on key aspects of citizenship. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



PROGRESS ON UNION TREATY. The preparatory committee set up to
work on the Union treaty met for more than 8 hours in Novo-Ogarevo
outside Moscow May 25, Soviet media reported. The session was
attended by Gorbachev, Yeltsin, the heads of state of seven other
republics willing in principle to sign the Union treaty (the
Uzbek president was absent because of natural disasters in his
republic), and the former autonomous republics. Both Gorbachev
and Yeltsin expressed satisfaction with the progress made, and
said that an agreed draft should be ready in June for submission
to the republican Supreme Soviets. Both made plain that what
was envisaged was a federation and not a confederation. Yeltsin
noted, however, that there was still disagreement on issues such
as taxation, control of local defense industries, and who owns
Russia's oil and gas reserves. (Ann Sheehy)

USSR: "UNION OF SOVIET SOVEREIGN REPUBLICS". According to Yeltsin,
it was agreed in principle to retain the present initials of
the USSR but to substitute the word "sovereign" for the word
"socialist." This was the title that was originally proposed,
but the USSR Congress of People's Deputies insisted on retaining
the word "socialist." It was also agreed that the treaty document
would be entitled "Union of Sovereign States." This was a change
Yeltsin had been demanding, but it appears to be one of form
rather than substance. (Ann Sheehy)

HOW FORMER AUTONOMOUS REPUBLICS WILL SIGN TREATY. The representatives
of all the republics attending the meeting except Tatarstan agreed
that the former autonomous republics would sign the Union treaty
as part of the RSFSR and in alphabetical order after the RSFSR
had signed. Yeltsin said that he would have further consultations
with Tatarstan. He was afraid that if Tatarstan signed separately,
the others would not sign the treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

INDEPENDENCE-SEEKING REPUBLICS SET UP COORDINATING BODY. Delegates
of popular movements from six republics seeking independence
from the USSR conferred May 25 and 26 in Kishinev, local sources
told RFE/RL by telephone. Initiated by the Moldavian Popular
Front, the meeting was attended by delegates of Lithuania's Sajudis
movement, the Popular Fronts of Estonia and Latvia, the Georgian
Round Table, and the Pan-Armenian National Movement. The specially
empowered delegates signed the founding documents of a coordinating
body, the "Assembly of Popular Fronts and Movements from Republics
Not Joining the Union Treaty," also to be known as the "Kishinev
Forum" for short. The Forum intends to hold monthly meetings,
rotating among the six republics, to enhance their cooperation
and to coordinate political actions. (Vladimir Socor)

KISHINEV FORUM ISSUES FOUNDING DOCUMENT. According to its programmatic
document, the Kishinev Forum is based on the principles of the
UN Charter, the right of peoples to self-determination as defined
in UN resolutions on decolonization, and international covenants
on human, civic, and political rights. The Forum considers that
the Kremlin's refusal to allow the six republics to leave the
Union threatens world peace. The signatory movements agree on
the need to coordinate steps for more effective resistance to
Moscow's use of economic blockades and military repression against
independence-seeking republics. "Normalization of the situation
in the USSR and stability in the world are impossible without
recognition and observance of the rights of the republics which
have chosen to set up independent states," the founding document
said. (Vladimir Socor)

KISHINEV FORUM PROTESTS SOVIET MILITARY REPRESSION. In separate
telegrams addressed to Gorbachev and to UN Secretary General
Javier Perez de Cuellar, the Kishinev Forum protested the USSR's
use of military force in the Baltic States and in Armenia and
Nagorno-Karabakh and the fanning of inter-ethnic conflict in
Georgia by the center. It demanded legal prosecution of those
responsible for the use of violence against civilians and the
withdrawal of Soviet troops from the six republics. The Kishinev
Forum's documents were highlighted by Western agencies May 26
and 27 and were communicated by Moldavian sources to RFE/RL.
(Vladimir Socor)

MOISEEV ON ARMS CONTROL TALKS. General Mikhail Moiseev, who recently
returned to Moscow after talks in Washington on clearing up remaining
obstacles to CFE and START agreements, told Krasnaya zvezda of
May 24 that the talks with American officials were "difficult,
but useful." Still, a TASS summary the same day quoted Moiseev
as charging that the US is dragging out the negotiations, and
has even backed off from previously agreed positions. (Sallie
Wise)

NEW IMPETUS FOR POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN? There appears
to be some diplomatic movement in the wake of Perez de Cuellar's
appeal last week for political dialogue on Afghanistan. Riaz
Mohammad Khan, a director general in Pakistan's foreign ministry,
arrived in Moscow May 26 for talks with Soviet officials on a
possible political settlement in Afghanistan, Western agencies
reported that day. Khan, along with Secretary General for Foreign
Affairs Akram Zaki, held consultations in Saudi Arabia and Iran
last week before leaving for Moscow. Meanwhile, the US on May
25 called for all outside parties to the Afghan conflict to set
an early date for stopping arms deliveries to Afghan combatants.
(Sallie Wise)

SOVIET BUDGET DEFICIT WORSENS. Official Soviet statistics published
in Ekonomika i zhizn', No. 21 indicate that the gap between state
incomes and expenditures continues to widen in the USSR. Planned
income for the first quarter was about 55 billion rubles while
only about 20 billion (36%) came in. This is in contrast to expenditures
which are running at a rate of about 73% of plan (planned expenditures
for the quarter were 61 billion rubles, while actual expenditures
were about 47 billion). The total deficit of 27.1 billion rubles
is 4.6 times the planned deficit for the quarter and 2.3 times
the corresponding figure for 1990. (John Tedstrom)

REPUBLICS WITHHOLDING FUNDS. The major reason for the shortfall
in budget revenues is that republican and local budgets are 1)
granting tax breaks on two major all-Union income sources: the
profit tax and the sales tax and 2) falling short on the agreed
amount of transfers to the all-Union budget to finance Union-wide
programs. All-Union incomes from the profit and sales taxes totalled
only 31% and 6% of plan for the quarter, respectively, and republican
transfers to the all-Union budget total roughly 57%. (John Tedstrom)


PRODUCTIVITY IN SOVIET AGRICULTURE DISMAL. The Soviet press has
reported labor productivity statistics in agriculture by country,
and the USSR comes out at the bottom of the list. Argumenty i
fakty, No. 16 reports OECD figures that show agricultural labor
productivity in the USSR at just 9% of the US level, and 20%
of the overall OECD level. The calculations are based on purchasing-power
parities and not on the official Soviet exchange rate. (John
Tedstrom)

PAVLOV'S WELTANSCHAUUNG. In an interview with Ogonek (no. 17),
Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov discussed his government's long-term
plans. He said he supports the agrarian reform launched by the
RSFSR government and endorses destatization of state property.
This does not, however, apply to private ownership of land, which
he views as owned in common by all the people. Pavlov called
for the spiritual revival of Russia "as the USSR is called in
the West even today." He said the national revival might be inspired
by what he called "Russian cosmism", i.e., a synthesis of religion,
art, and science introduced by Russian philosophers such as Vladimir
Vernadsky and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. In many instances, Pavlov
echoed the ideas of political scientist Sergei Kurginyan. (Victor
Yasmann)



USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



RSFSR CPD TURNS DOWN LAW ON CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. Yeltsin supporters
in the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies suffered a serious
setback May 25 when conservatives voted down a proposed law on
a republican Constititutional Court (Russian TV, May 25 and 26).
The law would entitle the RSFSR President to dismiss local executives
if the RSFSR Constitutional Court found them guilty of violating
Russian Federation laws (thereby reining in many regional leaders
in the Party nomenklatura who sabotage pro-market reforms.) The
members of the CC are supposed to be nominated by the chairman
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. The decision to postpone the law
on the Constitutional Court until the next RSFSR CPD (to be held
in June, following the election of the RSFSR President) means
that its members will not be nominated by Yeltsin if he is elected
President. (Julia Wishnevsky)

KHASBULATOV ON UNION AND RSFSR FEDERAL TREATIES. RSFSR Supreme
Soviet first deputy chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov reported to the
Russian parliament on May 25 on work on the Union and RSFSR federal
treaties, TASS and Russian TV reported. Khasbulatov noted progress
on the Union treaty. As regards the federal treaty, he spoke
of the dangers of the process of "confederalization" taking place
in the Russian republic and warned that it could wreck the whole
Union. In this connection he noted the seriousness of the situation
with regard to Tatarstan, and called on deputies to decide questions
of national-state structure from positions of "healthy conservatism."
(Ann Sheehy)

CONSERVATIVE GROUP CREATED IN RSFSR PARLIAMENT. A new conservative
group has been set up in the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. Army Lieutenant-General
Boris Tarasov, considered a hardliner, told independent Moscow
journalist Mark Deich that the group will be similar to the conservative
"Soyuz" faction in the USSR parliament. Deich told RFE/RL by
telephone from Moscow on May 24 that the group is to be called
"Otchizna" (Fatherland) and will concern itself with the questions
of Russian sovereignty and integrity. The group has not yet been
officially registered, but Deich said more than 150 members of
the RSFSR parliament have already joined it. (RL Russian Service/NCA/Jean
Riollot)

RYZHKOV OPPOSED TO WESTERN CREDITS. Addressing a political rally
in Smolensk, former Soviet Prime Minister and candidate for RSFSR
president Nikolai Ryzhkov said that the USSR must find its own
way out of its crisis and should not look to the West for credits,
according to Western sources May 25. He also expressed his opposition
to privatization of housing and abolition of state subsidies.
He believes these measures will lead to massive unemployment
and labor unrest. Ryzhkov wants RSFSR economic policy to be guided
by professional economic managers and not by Western experts.
(John Tedstrom)

POPOV TO RUN AS MAYOR OF MOSCOW. Gavriil Popov has announced
his intention of running for the post of mayor of Moscow, TASS
announced on May 24. This is a new post, intended to be considerably
more powerful than that of chairman of the Moscow city soviet,
which Popov presently holds. Until last year, the chairman of
the soviet was a figurehead, elected by the deputies to the soviet
while real power was exercised by the local Communist Party.
All that is now set to change on June 12 when the mayors of Moscow
and Leningrad will, like the new president of the RSFSR, be elected
for the first time by direct, popular ballot. (Elizabeth Teague)


RSFSR TO ESTABLISH FREE TRADE ZONES. The RSFSR government has
decided to designate Leningrad and Vyborg free trade zones, according
to Radio Mayak, May 24. The zones will have lower tax rates and
other benefits for joint ventures. Yeltsin made the decision
after the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies granted him broadened
powers last month. Leningrad city soviet chairman Anatolii Sobchak
hopes that ethnic Germans will move to the area to set up businesses,
especially in agriculture. He hopes that cooperation with German
businesses can develop via the trade zone arrangement and plans
to establish a "German Business Center" in the second half of
the year. Sobchak plans to establish an independent banking system
in order to finance the new ventures, according to Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung, May 25. (NCA/John Tedstrom)

GEORGIA ELECTS A PRESIDENT... Initial returns indicate that acting
president Zviad Gamskahurdia polled between 70% and 90% of the
vote in some Tbilisi constituencies in the May 26 Georgian Presidential
elections. International observers say there was no evidence
of malpractice at those very few polling stations in Tbilisi
which they monitored; Gamsakhurdia's main rival, Valerian Advadze,
predicted that the vote would be rigged, that Gamsakhurdia would
initiate reprisals against himself and other rivals, and that
Gamsakhurdia would face a rebellion within six months if he did
not change his political course. There was no voting in the disputed
oblast of South Ossetia or in Abkhazia, Western agencies reported
May 27. (Liz Fuller)

AND GOD HELP THOSE WHO SLANDER HIM. On May 22 the Georgian parliament
approved a law prohibiting any criticism or slander that maligns
"the honor and dignity" of the elected president. Individuals
convicted face a six-year jail term; the media will have to pay
a 25,000-ruble fine, TASS reports. (Liz Fuller)

MORE DEATHS IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. TASS reported May 24 that three
people were killed in an exchange of fire between USSR security
forces and armed gunmen when the latter attacked an Armenian
village in Gadrut raion in the south of Nagorno- Karabakh the
previous night. Western agencies May 26 reported that five Armenians
were killed May 24 by Soviet troops in a clash in Azerbaijan's
Shaumyan raion. (Liz Fuller)

CONTROVERSY OVER UKRAINIAN CARDINAL. Ukrainian Greek Catholic
Cardinal Myroslav Ivan Lubachivs'kyi was prevented from conducting
a mass in Kiev's St. Andrew's church, Western news agencies reported
May 26. Several hundred Russian Orthodox protesters blocked the
entrance to the church, jeering the Ukrainian cardinal. Kiev
city officials had given their approval for the church service.
Later, the service was conducted in another church in the Ukrainian
capital. (Roman Solchanyk)

IAEA REPORT CHALLENGED. A study released May 22 by the International
Atomic Energy Agency on the consequences of Chernobyl' has been
contested by the Soviet mission to the United Nations and charitable
organizations. The study maintains there is no evidence of widespread
leukemia or thyroid illnesses related to the accident and concludes
that long-term protective measures taken by the Soviets are more
than adequate. The Soviet mission took issue with the IAEA assessment
at a May 23 press conference in New York, while officials have
reportedly protested to Margaret Anstee, coordinator of UN Chernobyl
aid programs, that report compilers were given inaccurate information.
(NCA/Kathy Mihalisko)

PROTEST AT INTERNATIONAL CHERNOBYL CONFERENCE. Speaking May 23
at a Chernobyl conference in Vienna, scientists from Ukraine
and Belorussia attacked the IAEA report as seriously flawed and
overly optimistic. They said the IAEA had failed to study clean-up
workers and evacuees, the groups most at risk, and raised many
other objections to the report. The IAEA findings were defended
by Leonid Il'in, chairman of the USSR commission on radiological
safety and a primary opponent of groups studying the impact of
Chernobyl. Scientists in Kiev and Minsk have roundly criticized
the IAEA in past years for conducting its own self-interested
coverup of the accident's consequences. (NCA/Kathy Mihalisko)



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